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This Is Us' Susan Kelechi Watson: 'I Pass the Torch' in Final Season's Follow-Up to Beth's Origin Episode

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This Is Us‘ Beth finished Season 5 on a true low. Sure, she had the love of her politically ascendant husband and three great kids. But her dance studio had closed — thanks, COVID — and it looked like her years-long dream of pursuing an arts career was over.

However, we know from the flash-forward that jumps to the time of Rebecca’s (likely) deathbed that Beth will preside over a dance academy at some point in the future. So when TVLine got the chance to ask Susan Kelechi Watson about bridging the gap between Sad Present-Day Beth and Dance Academy Boss Beth, we took it — starting by asking about the upcoming follow-up to the Season 5 episode “Our Little Island Girl,” which Watson co-wrote with This Is Us scribe Eboni Freeman.

TVLINE | I heard you saying there’s a little past, a little present and a little future in your episode. Do you dance in the episode? 
I don’t. I pass the torch. There’s some dancers in the episode, yeah, and I’m sort of passing the torch along. I do one little turn.

TVLINEWas there anything that you wanted in the script but you couldn’t fit in?
No, I think we got it all in which was amazing. It’s pretty amazing. I think they gave us a little extra breathing room.

TVLINE | Will we still get to see Beth as a business owner this season?
We get to see how she comes in. I don’t know if you remember that we flashed forward to Beth in this really great position in this dance theater, and we get to see how she got there.

TVLINE | And how is she reacting to Randall’s rising political star?
We haven’t gotten to [filming] those episodes yet. Hopefully she’ll be cool.

TVLINE | Can you tell me how you felt at the end of your most emotionally challenging day?
Oh, yeah. Yeah, ’cause usually those days it’s like, you’ll go for like, 12 hours. So I probably felt tired. And then I was like, “Girl, you gotta get up at 4, so get it together!” It’s funny because with one of my most emotional scenes this season, we actually shot it — and I wrote it — and we shot it the first day of shooting. I was like, “Oh, no,” you know? So I didn’t get a lot of time to think about it, actually. Hopefully that was a good thing. — With reporting by Diane Gordon

This Is Us returns for its final season on Tuesday, Jan. 4, at 9/8c.